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Comparison of T-cell responses in self-limiting versus progressive visceral Leishmania donovani infections in golden hamsters.

By C Gifawesen and J P Farrell


Leishmania donovani infection in golden hamsters was studied as a model for human kala-azar. After intradermal inoculation of L. donovani amastigotes, hamsters developed positive skin reactions (delayed-type hypersensitivity [DTH]) to parasite antigens and lymphoid cells from these hamsters proliferated to parasite antigens in vitro and transferred DTH reactivity to normal recipients. In contrast, hamsters infected by the intracardial route developed progressive visceral infections and failed to respond to skin test antigens. Spleen cells, lymph node cells, and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from these hamsters were unresponsive to parasite antigens in vitro, and spleen cells failed to transfer DTH to normal recipients. Spleen cells, but not PBLs, displayed depressed responses to T-cell mitogens and also suppressed the proliferative response of cells from hamsters inoculated intradermally. Removal of adherent cells restored the capacity of spleen cells, but not PBLs, to respond to parasite antigens. The nonadherent population of these spleen cells also transferred DTH to normal recipients. The adherent suppressor cells, which have the characteristics of macrophages, appear to be localized to the spleen and are apparently not responsible for the failure of peripheral lymphoid cells to respond to antigen. These studies suggest that hamsters with visceral infections develop a population of antigen-reactive cells and that in the absence of suppression these cells may express functional activities, including the capacity to elicit DTH responses

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1989
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:260774
Provided by: PubMed Central
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